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Saturday 31 May 2014

Five For Friday

Yay!  I made it to a Five for Friday linky (well technically it is Saturday here but heck I'm just going to go ahead and link up!)  So in no particular order, here goes!

Winter hits us in just a couple of days so with my Grade 2's we created some Wintery skies with umbrella's blowing in the it doesn't quite look like that but I forgot to take pics of the final product!  Needless to say they are all mounted and now decorate the front window of our classroom, I will definitely get a pic on Monday!

It is report writing time!  No more on that topic

I got these beautiful flowers delivered to school this week from my husband......just because

One of my teaching partners had a Mum come in to do some science experiments with our kids.  She is a Chemical Scientist at the university in Hobart and although she valiantly tried to explain molecules to our kids, I am not sure they quite got the understanding she had hoped for. 
 I know they definitely enjoyed the experiment that involved jelly snakes!

In other news, my coffee maker broke this week, I can not express to you the depths of despair I was in.  To date I have not had the time to go and get a new one......I am in mourning.

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Andy Griffiths

I recently read a book that was given to me by my teaching partner (who wants to remain nameless) , Once upon a Slime written by Andy Griffiths.

Friends I loved it!  This book has some fantastic ideas for getting your kids interested in writing in the classroom.  It gives a little background on how Andy got writing as a young boy and how he turned these early stories from his childhood into best sellers in the present.

What I really liked about this book is that you didn't have to read it front to back, you could just choose different chapters to find some interesting and engaging ways to try writing in your classroom.  This book was not aimed at teachers but at children so all of the tips and ideas are easy for students to understand.

So I have started using some of the ideas, the first strategy I used was the 3 minute write (not sure if that is the correct terminology that Andy used, but I don't have the book anymore!!!).

So the first time I did this I chose the topic or word that I wanted the kiddos to write about and for 3 minutes they just write and write.  We don't worry about spelling, punctuation or grammar, the kiddos just concentrate on putting pencil to paper and writing the first thing that comes into their heads.  The aim is to increase the time that you write or even increase the amount you write in the same time.

I went a little step further with this after the third time we did this, I then used their writing to introduce editing!  
But that is for another post :)

If you are interested in finding out more about Andy Griffiths and his writing just click on the pic above to go to his site.

P. S.  I was not paid or provided with goods in exchange for a review......I just really like his books :)

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Measuring up!

Hi friends!

I just wanted to stop in and quickly show you what we have been doing in our classroom.  

I am only in my Grade 2 classroom 2 days a week, so we are always busy, busy, busy.  In my jobshare role my teaching partner and I decided that she would tackle number concepts on her days and I would concentrate on all the other strands on my 2 days.  This has worked really well for us and we know our kiddos are covering everything in the curriculum.

So over the last couple of weeks we have been looking at length and measurement.  

I started off the lesson by giving out some string in a variety of lengths, you have no idea how exciting this was for the kids.  They just loved the eency weency piece I gave one of the students.

Then I asked them to sort them and put them into order from longest to shortest.  I told them that I wouldn't be helping them and they would have to work out how they needed to find out which length was longer.

You can see here 2 students who worked out that both pieces had to start in the same spot to ensure they would be comparing them properly.

I thought this would be a quick activity but the discussion and experimenting from the kiddos was just priceless!  Especially when they had two pieces that were of a similar length.  
By the end of the lesson we had our pieces of string ordered and had made lots of discoveries about how to compare 2 lengths.  I had the kiddos sticky tape their string into their books as our next lesson will be having a scavenger hunt to find things that are longer, shorter or equal to our lengths of string.

If you want to do this lesson with your kiddos, click on the pic to get this Scavenger Hunt sheet for yourself!

Enjoy friends :)

Sunday 18 May 2014

Bright Ideas! Where are we?

Welcome to another round of Bright Ideas!

I love that we are able to share all of these fabulous ideas with teachers all over the world.
Today I wanted to share with you a quick way to let everyone know where your class is.  You know those times you decide that learning doesn't only have to take place in the classroom and that you are going to be daring and take your class outside or to another area of the school?  Of course that is going to be the time a parent or the Principal comes looking  for you and then you end up getting a slap on the wrist (I speak figuratively) because no-one knows where you are.  Did this happen to me?  Of course not!  

There are a number of ways you can let people know where you are, you can display your timetable in your room so it is plain to see when you have you specialist lessons like Music or PE, you can leave a note on your whiteboard if you are going to be somewhere else.  But this is my favourite way to let people know where you are.

Use your windows or glass door as a whiteboard, I made this cute background, laminated it and stuck it on the the inside of my glass door, I can then write on the glass with a whiteboard marker to let everyone know where we are.  If you have a solid door, you can still write on the laminate or slide a piece of paper into a page protector and write on the plastic with a whiteboard marker.

I can't believe how easy it is and why I didn't think of this before, you can see in an instant where our class is and I will never get in trouble again for not telling people where we are :)  

If you have enjoyed this Bright Idea make sure you join me on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest

and for more Bright Ideas from over 130 amazing bloggers check out the linky below

Saturday 10 May 2014

Five For Friday

I am linking up with Doodlebugs for Five for Friday!

The cold weather hit this week!  We had 2 days with a light dusting of snow on the mountain which meant the winds were freezing!  There were also a few rainy days, I snapped this pic when I was on playground duty during one of the breaks in the weather.

We have been looking at measurement using arbitrary units, here are a few of my kiddos measuring using pop sticks and unifix blocks.

I spent the first part of the week cleaning out the maths room to be able to use it as a place to take small groups.  People it was not pretty so I did not take any pics, the good news is you can now see the floor and I will have some tables and chairs in there on Monday ready to take some small groups for writing, reading and maths.

Of course we ended the week finishing off our Mothers Day craft.  My teaching partner had worked on Mothers Day poems at the start of the week and on my days we made the card and this cute craft from my Mothers Day craftivity packet.  The cutest part of the day was when two of my students asked if they could stay in at lunch to work on them, I said they could come in when I had finished duty.  When I got to the classroom there were about 12 students waiting for me all coming in to work on their gifts.  The Principal saw all the children walking in and came to see what was going on, she told me how heart warming it was to see, especially when I told her I had overheard one precious little cherub say to her friend, "Our mothers are so much more important than our playtime." OH MY GOSH!  How gorgeous!

My kiddos also worked on long e this week using some of the activities from my Long Vowel Digraph pack

But ya know I didn't take any photos!  We used the Sort and Add and the Highlight it, Write it sheet.  Next week we will be using the Spin it, Write it activity which I am sure they will love.

That's it for me, I am off to finish off a Blends pack!

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Show your appreciation!

In case you haven't heard this week in Teacher Appreciation Week and TpT is showing their love by throwing a site wide sale.  My store will be 20% off and by using the code TPTXO you can get another 10% off . Make sure you read all the way to the bottom for your chance to win a $10 TpT voucher.

I am linking up with Flying into First grade to show you some of the fab products you can get on sale in my store.

Here are some ELA products you might like.

Some Maths products that are currently my best sellers.

And just to spread the love a bit more I am giving away a $10 TpT voucher over on my FB page, just head over and click on the Giveaway Tab at the top.  If you want to check out more of my creations why not visit my TpT Pinterest board

Sunday 4 May 2014

Currently late!

I am a bit late linking up with Farley for her Currently link so I will most likely be number 576 on the list :) Oh well!

I have been sooooooo lazy over the holidays and really neglected laundry, housework and most other things that didn't seem like fun so with the last day of the holidays I have had to get my butt moving on laundry and housework.
I am also having a big cook up so that I have some ready made meals through the week.  I like to do this about every 3-4 weeks, it helps stop that "let's just have take away, I'm too tired to cook" nights.  On the menu today is chicken noodle soup, beef and vege casserole and bolognaise sauce.  I should get roughly 6-7 family meals out of this and a couple of lunches for me. I am also preparing roast vegetables with rosemary and garlic baked lamb loin chops for dinner, yum!  With cooler weather coming in I am enjoying having soul warming meals with my family.

My surprise blog is Kylie @ Down Under Teacher, she was the first blogger that I really started to interact with and she was so helpful and patient with me when I asked questions, since then I have been able to network with her through Facebook as well.  I guess she was the introduction for me to a community I have been so blessed to be a part of.